Here Is Our Registration To Blog In Florida, Mister Knucklef*ck Sh*thead State Senator, Sir
Not sure if this is the right format, but fuck you.
Dear state Sen. Jason Brodeur (R-Florida):
We are writing to inform you that we are writing about you, an elected member of the Florida Legislature, and your very interesting and facially unconstitutional bill, Florida SB 1316, which would require paid bloggers to register with the State of Florida, just like lobbyists would — at least if the blogger is paid for the posts they write. We would first off like to thank you for exempting newspapers and amateur bloggers from the legislation. That is right neighborly of you! Florida really is all about freedom, isn't it? Unless you're a wokey, and we all know about those wokies and their mobs.
We won't go into the details of the bill too much, since its instructions are so clear and easy to follow: If someone is paid to write about Gov. Ron DeSantis, the lieutenant governor, any member of the cabinet, or any member of the Lege, then that blogger must register with the State Bloggerlobbyists Office within five days of publication, and then also submit monthly reports to the appropriate office by the 10th of each month, unless "the 10th day following the end of a calendar month occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday," in which case "the report must be filed on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday." Easy peasy!
You really thought that through! You don't mention whether the bloggers must be resident to the great state of Florida, one of those oversights that can happen when a bunch of fucking idiots get elected to make "laws." We'll assume that it applies to everyone everywhere in the known universe, since you didn't say it ain't.
The monthly reports must itemize each post that mentions any of said Florida officials, and must include a statement — rounded to the nearest 10 dollars — of how much the blogger was paid. And heck, if we go a month without mentioning any of Florida's colorful elected officials, we can even skip filing for that month. Again, very generous!
It's also very convenient of you to identify the appropriate offices where the reports must be filed, depending on whether we write about a member of the executive branch (the Florida Commission on Ethics) or the legislature (the Florida Office of Legislative Services). If we mention both — like this very piece, which mentions both the increasingly fascist Ron DeSantis and his increasingly fascist lickspittles in the Legislature like you, I assume we can simply file two copies of the same report. Or would they have to be separately written, to avoid confusion?
Also, it doesn't appear that your bill explains how we should report our income if we're on salary, rather than paid by the blog post. I write about national and international politics, as well as about education, entertainment, edutainment, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (both the show itself and the fandom). Would I just try to figure out how my annual income breaks down per post, or should I calculate it by the time I spend writing each post?
Like, it took me forever to round up all the shitty things red states like Florida are doing to trans people (although I didn't mention Mr. DeSantis today), but I'm basically dashing this piece off while giving it the effort your stupid bill deserves, which is only slightly more than that involved in the average dump, and not even one of those messy ones where it takes forever to wipe, because for one reason or another it's just kind of viscous. I just want to make sure I'm in compliance. And I need more fiber, most likely.
Also, I think it's really smart of you to structure the fines for failure to report any blogging activity exactly like those for lobbyists — $25 per day the report is late, up to a maximum of $2,500, per blog post, to be paid to the appropriate office, depending on whether the non-reported blog post had been about a legislator or a member of the executive branch. Hey, if the post mentioned both, does half the fine go to each office, or is the fine doubled?
Maybe we should just write about county officials and school boards. They're just as fucking crazy, but with less paperwork. HA! That's what you WANT!
In any case, those fines would really pinch our income, which depends entirely on donations from our readers. They're the best.
We see you explained to Florida Politics — a blog, we believe — that
Paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk. They both are professional electioneers. If lobbyists have to register and report, why shouldn’t paid bloggers?
We're not so sure we agree with you 100 percent on your police work there, Senator.
You see, we're mostly interested in making clear what an asshole you are, not necessarily in influencing legislation in the state of Florida, and we don't represent any interest group other than our readers, who we may have mentioned are the only reason we're able to do this anyway. Sure, we'd like to see your stupid fascist bill fail, and for you to be laughed out of office, but nobody's paying us to advance that view on their behalf. A lot of those filthy fuckaducks are just here to post cat pictures, which we would add is a far better use of time than trying to threaten pissant non-newspaper independent opinion bloggers like Yours Truly.
In conclusion, we really look forward to your bill failing hard, either in the Florida Lege, or if Crom forbid it passes and Gov. Orban signs it, in the courts.
Also consider this our report of our mention of you in this blog, for which we were paid in Ameros and in cedar cheese anyway. Our Editrix has already filed her registration report, too, although it's about pregnancy hemorrhoids, not cat pictures and difficult shits.
Hey, you know who else is a difficult shit? Yes, you're right, it's YOU.
Also, go fuck yourself. Did we mention that already? Just in case, go fuck right off the peninsula and keep fucking off all the way to the wide Sarcastro Sea.
See also the case of Flying Fuck v. Rolling Donut (1969) and the subsequent ruling in Flying Fuck v. Mooooooooooon (1976).
[Florida Politics / Daily Beast / Florida SB 1316]
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Republican 2024 Loyalty Pledge As Enforceable As All Trump's Other Contracts
It's your first 2024 GOP primaries Sunday show rundown!
To hear people like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talking about "diversity, equity and inclusion" programs, you would think they murdered his dog. But the reason these programs exist is to ensure that workplaces and universities are not dominated by narrow echo chambers. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, this aversion to diversity looks to make their 2024 primaries look like an attack of the GOP clones.
I guess you have to purchase the DLC to unlock Donald Trump & Nikki Haley
So let's take a look at what will surely be a race to see who can be the most MAGA before Trump inevitably eviscerates them on national TV.
What's A Little Coup Amongst Friends?
On CNN's "State Of The Union" was Republican National Committee Chair Ronna
Romney McDaniel, fresh from fending off crazed pillow salesmen, to discuss the upcoming announcement of the GOP primary rules.
Host Dana Bash asked McDaniel about the Republican Party's proposed loyalty pledge requiring candidates to support whomever the eventual 2024 nominee is in order to be allowed on the GOP primary debate stage. McDaniel said she all but expects that to be in the criteria, much like it was in 2016, before Bash rolled tape of Donald Trump's recent statement to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about possibly doing the opposite.
When Bash asked McDaniel if she was prepared to block Trump from the debates based on his non-commitment, McDaniel's answer was not very reassuring.
MCDANIEL: Well, he signed it in 2016. He did.
BASH: I know.
MCDANIEL: Everybody signed it in 2016.
BASH: But this is about the here and the now. He didn't commit to it.
MCDANIEL: Yes, I think they're — I think they're all going to sign it. I really do. [...] I think they all want to be on the debate stage. I think President Trump would like to be on the debate stage. That's what he likes to do. And I expect they will all be there.
Bash then quoted former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson's objection to also signing this pledge of blanket allegiance to the 2024 GOP nominee and asked McDaniel a very obvious follow-up question.
BASH: He said, quote, "For leaders such as myself who believe Donald Trump is not the right direction for the country, and I said specifically that January 6 disqualified him, what would — that would certainly make it a problem for me to give an across-the-board, inclusive pledge." How do you make candidates like him, given the reality of what has happened on January 6, go against his — what he's saying is his principle?
McDaniel answered by making the subtext text about the GOP's thoughts on principles and January 6th.
MCDANIEL: I think you support the voters. The voters get to choose. And if the Republican voters pick the nominee [...] I'm going to support the nominee.
BASH: [...] You would be asking him to put party over country.
MCDANIEL: Oh, I don't see it that way. That may be how he sees it. I don't see it that way. I think, if the voters choose Donald Trump to be the nominee, if they choose Mike Pence, if they choose Mike Pompeo or Asa Hutchinson, everybody should support the will of the voters.
So, if you are keeping score, not signing the 2024 GOP pledge of allegiance to the nominee means you won't be allowed on the debate stage BUT leading an attempted insurrection is not disqualifying at all.
But all this talk about the pledge and its enforcement by the RNC seems to have a fatal flaw, which Dana Bash pointed out and McDaniel had no solution for.
BASH: One more question on this: How do you enforce it? Once — once you get to the point where there is a presumptive nominee, the debates are going to be over, so how do you even enforce this?
MCDANIEL: We're saying you're not going to get on the debate stage unless you make this pledge.
Trump has signed construction contracts and marriage licenses in his past but that still didn't prevent him from stiffing contractors who did work for him or replacing his wives with other models. The RNC has no way to enforce it and is counting on the honor system or the principles of those signatories ... which is not very reassuring. A "pledge" is only as good as the person who signs it, McDaniel, and Trump's is as good as a Trump University diploma.
Tim Scott Is A GOP 'Pick-Me' Candidate
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" with Shannon Bream, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was making his case as one of the potential Trump
victims opponents on the 2024 GOP primary debate stage.
Tim Scott began by doing what he does best: making white people comfortable about racism in America by telling them that everything has been fixed and nothing needs changing.
SCOTT: Our original sin should never define us because the story of redemption is what we've been living through more than 50-plus years. The greatest story of progress in the world is American progress in the last 50 years.
Somehow Tim Scott either is unable or unwilling to address that a 247-year-old country only making marginal progress in the latter 50 years is an indictment, not a celebration. It's like an abusive, absentee divorced dad thinking a trip to McDonald's and an occasional birthday/Christmas present makes up for everything else inflicted upon their children.
Scott was then asked what makes him different from Trump or any other nominee on the 2024 GOP field.
SCOTT: The policy positions that I've taken. One of the most important parts of being in the majority was the opportunity we have with the Tax and Cut and Jobs Act.
Tim Scott touted his support for the Trump tax cuts as a policy difference. Seriously.
Trump is going to have a blast eliminating his cheap knockoffs.
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Peggy Noonan Converses With Giant Talking Statue, And One Of Them Makes Sense
Lady Liberty likely to now cancel her Wall Street Journal subscription.
Lord but she needed to pad out this week’s column. Peggy Noonan, sister in good standing of the Order of the Diazepam Insouciance, had uncharacteristically little to say. It happened to even the best writers, she supposed, so no surprise that her own well seemed to have run dry.
But there was so much going on in the world! She could write about the corporate malfeasance and rollback of government regulations that likely played huge roles in the disastrous train derailment currently despoiling a delightful corner of her beloved Robert Taft’s Ohio. She could write about the Chinese spy balloon that the feckless Joe Biden had allowed to drift across the North American continent like an Oriental Hoover, sucking up the nation’s secrets and beaming them back to Beijing. She could talk about the desperate Republican scandal to pretend that they did not in fact, despite decades of statements and actions to the contrary, want to destroy Social Security.
THE MANY COULDS OF PEGGY NOONAN!
Perhaps We Could Improve Railroad Safety Somewhat?
Peggy Noonan Don't Know Nothin' 'Bout 'Bortin No Babies!
Hi, I'm The Chinese Spy Balloon! Please Continue Going About Your Day, Citizens!
I'm Rick Scott And I Do Not Want To End Social Security And Medicare, Pinky Swear.
Bah! So common! So jejune! So boring to try and squeeze 800 words out about any of these topics.
A break. She needed a break. The weather was unseasonably warm in New York this week, balmy as spring, so why not take a stroll around the city, perhaps visit a famous site or two, and find some inspiration?
And what could be more inspiring than the Ellis Island ferry chugging its way out into the harbor, towards the place where the American dream began for so many millions of the unwashed masses? The thrills those refugees from the Old World felt approaching the vast terminal where they would disembark to begin their new lives, the great lady, the Statue of Liberty nearby on her own island, greeting their ships with her torch held aloft to the heavens welcoming to America those who yearned to breathe free ...
“For fuck’s sake.” The deep voice boomed across the water, the shockwave knocking out the ferry’s engines and leaving it adrift. A cloud passed across the sun. The imposing stone face turned slowly, so slowly in her direction, the metal screaming in protest as the statue’s neck twisted to look down at her.
“Good Lord, would you give it a rest?” The statue dropped her arms to her sides and rolled her neck. “I haven’t heard such overwrought claptrap since Dylan Thomas kicked it.” She put her hands on her hips and slowly arched her torso, and Peggy heard a crack like the Earth itself was splitting open.
“Oy,” the statue said. “You think you’ve got lower back pain? You ever tried standing still in the same spot for a hundred and forty years while holding a giant torch straight up in the air? It’s amazing my vertebrae haven’t all crumbled into powder.”
The statue slowly stepped off her pedestal and lumbered down to the edge of Liberty Island, where she pulled up her tunic, plopped down on the ground, and stuck her giant feet in the water.
“Christ, does that feel good,” she said. “The least you people could have done was give me something to sit on. It didn’t have to be a fancy Eames chair or anything. A stool would have been fine. Now then!” She slapped her thighs, and the sonic boom caused the ferry to tilt precariously to port. Peggy looked around and saw that her fellow passengers did not seem to have noticed. They were all happily gathered at the rails, pointing excitedly back at the Manhattan skyline or out towards Ellis Island, snapping pictures on their iPhones and oblivious to the one-hundred-and-fifty foot statue soaking her feet in New York Harbor and glaring at them.
“So tell me, Peggy,” the statue said. “Are you feeling inspired yet?”
On Wednesday Nikki Haley announced her presidential campaign in Charleston, S.C. I found myself thinking not about her candidacy but about the launch itself… An introducer said she will “lead us into the future”; she added, “America is falling behind.” It was all so tired, clichéd, and phony. It was national politics as it has been done circa 1990-2023.
“Ha! 1990!” Lady Liberty laughed. “Peggy, I know you are going to pretend history ended when the first George Bush came to power, but the president you worked for in the 1980s had plenty of hoary clichés. Have you forgotten ‘Morning in America’? ‘Prouder, Stronger, Better’? That America had fallen behind and needed the great Reagan to lead it back to glory was the entire theme of his 1980 campaign! It was supposed to be the antidote to all the national malaise of the 70s.
“Shoot, he even used ‘Make America Great Again’ back when Donald Trump was busy discriminating against any Black people who wanted to rent his apartments. I assure you, outside of Hugh Hewitt’s brain, it was no less tired and phony then too. People might have bought it, but that didn’t make it any more authentic.”
In her speech she said some nice things: “Take it from me, the first female minority governor in history: America is not a racist country.” Everyone who scrambles over our border knows that; it is good when elites say it.
“Ha!” The statue slurped harbor water from her cupped hands. “I know that’s simplistic and wrong, and I literally have an empty space where my brain should be.”
Connected to this, the second part of our column, on last weekend’s Super Bowl ads. What do we discern from them about how the nation’s ad makers see their country? That we’re a nation of morons, a people with fractured concentration, a people with no ability to follow even a 60-second spot ...
“To quote my old comedy improv teacher,” Lady Liberty said. “Yes, and?”
The ad makers must have asked themselves: What does America want? And answered: dumb, loud, depthless and broken. I’m here to say I’ve met America and that’s not what they want. What they want is “Help me live, help my kids live, help me feel something true.”
“You’ve met America where, at Ripon Society meetings?” Lady Liberty cackled as she used her torch to light a giant cigarette and blow a great plume of smoke towards New Jersey. “A feeling in this formulation is just another commodity for ad makers to sell people, like Doritos or Hyundais. And that’s fine! Not every Clydesdale has to have a story to inspire people. Sometimes they can just sell beer.”
Finally, the Academy Awards are next month. At the Oscar lunch this week the Academy made clear it wasn’t over the Will Smith slap. Good. It was a big moment … Here is how to turn that moment into something helpful. It doesn’t involve “image rehab.” It involves constructive honesty. Will Smith should walk in and say this:
“Oh no.” The statue held her head and moaned. “I beg of you, Peggy.”
"Last year I did something bad to a guy who was just doing his job, and I am here to acknowledge it from the same stage-to admit that in attempting to humiliate him, I humiliated myself. I showed a number of things, including sheer bad judgment ... As a public figure, I delivered exactly the wrong message and put forward exactly the wrong example. What we do in public matters, especially for the young. If we smoke, they’ll think it’s cool to smoke. If we use bullets and guns, they’ll be inspired to go in that direction ... I’m going to continue to work on myself, and I ask you, as I close, not to applaud, if you were going to. After all the furor, let’s end it quietly and with thought."
“America is not a racist country. Now allow me, an elderly white woman, to condescendingly lecture a successful Black man about his manners, and demand he beg forgiveness from a worldwide television audience. That’s the message you’re going with this week?” Lady Liberty sighed and flung the cigarette butt out into the harbor, where it bobbed on the surface like a dead whale.
“Well, back to the grindstone,” the statue said as she lumbered back to her feet with a sigh that shook the city's bridges. “I mean this, Peggy, from the bottom of my heart. Next time you’re stuck for material, just take a week off.”
Lady Liberty picked up her torch and book, clambered up onto her pedestal, and resumed her usual position. Peggy watched her recede as the ferry chugged back to the Manhattan shore. Wise words for a statue, she thought. Not that she had any intention of heeding them.
Look everybody, it's Gary. Help us pay Gary.
Sunday Shows: Post-State Of The Union Rundown
We watch so you won’t have to!
We’ve had a lot of fun since liveblogging President Joe Biden's State of the Union address. We've mocked the official unhinged Republican response,the public ritualistic humiliation of Rick Scott and Mike Lee, as well as the crazy lengths that Tucker Carlson has gone to save the GOP's face.
The Republicans who appeared on the Sunday shows continued flailing and set themselves up for more mockery. Let's watch!
Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't
On CNN's "State Of The Union" with Jake Tapper, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio was all to eager to prove us correct when we pointed out Republicans’ bad-faith criticism of the "Chinese Balloon Crisis" last week.
When Tapper asked about the two flying objects shot down this week over Canada and Alaska, Turner made it clear Republicans have no issue with political inconsistency.
TURNER: Yes, well, I certainly don't know, as the administration is saying they don't know. They do appear somewhat trigger-happy, although this is certainly preferable to the permissive environment that they showed when the Chinese spy balloon was coming over some of our most sensitive sites.
"Trigger-happy"?! After all their whining and posturing about shooting at the sky, they have the gall to now act like the Biden Administration is paranoid or "trigger-happy"? Turner, when asked about the discovery of further classified documents on a laptop and thumb drive belonging to a Trump aide, topped his hypocrisy with an extra helping of good ole' whataboutism.
TURNER: [...] They are not to be taken lightly. And we're just amazed as people keep finding them stuffed in the strangest places like behind Biden's Corvette. This is —this is clearly a failure of an understanding of how to handle the importance of these documents.
This lack of unseriousness and blatant partisanship is what we have to expect for the next two years.
We Aren't Cutting Social Security, Just Taking It To A Nice Farm Upstate
Rep. Turner was followed on "State Of The Union" by Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, who wanted to make sure that Biden was wrong about Republicans' intentions regarding Social Security.
ROUNDS: [...] I think that's misleading in terms of what he really intended to do. But, look, the bottom line is, is, Republicans want to see Social Security be successful and be improved. [...]
Well, you know what, maybe Biden was wrong and Republicans' intentions are noble, regardless of Rick Scott or Mike Lee. So, what is the senator's great plan to improve Social Security and make it more successful?
ROUNDS: [...] I kind of look at security the way I would at the Department of Defense and our defense spending. We're never going to not fund defense. But, at the same time, we -- every single year, we look at how we can make it better. [...]
So Republicans want to fund Social Security on a year-by-year basis?! I'm sure a lot of the seniors reliant on those benefits will be happy to know they'd be dependent on the Republican Party's political games and whims every year.
I guess a cut by any other name would still make Scott's shriveled heart flutter.
Influence Peddling Is Bad ... Unless It's Jared Kushner
Over on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, Chairman of the Oversight Committee Rep. James Comer assured everyone that his committee will take the buying of influence very seriously.
\u201cJames Comer on ABC on presidential influence peddling: "I don't disagree with the Democrats and their criticism of the previous administration." \n\nYou hear that, @realDonaldTrump?\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1676216810
COMER: Now I don't disagree with the Democrats and their criticism of the previous administration. We have a problem here that needs a legislative solution. That's why this Biden investigation is so important. There's a legislative solution to this, and it can be bipartisan. The Democrats complained about Kushner's foreign dealings. Republicans are certainly complaining about the entire Biden family's foreign business dealings.
But when Stephanopoulos pushed Comer on why it seems that they're taking no actions on Kushner or the Trumps (other than lip service), Comer made it clear that his committee is just weaponizing the government for partisanship. Again.
\u201cCOMER: The difference between Jared Kushner and Hunter Biden is that Kushner actually sat down and was interviewed. \n\nSTEPHANOPOULOS: I think we only learned of the $2 billion Saudi investment from the Washington Post\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1676216810
COMER: [...] The difference between Jared Kushner and Hunter Biden is that Jared Kushner actually sat down [and] was interviewed. He was interviewed by investigators. So he's already been investigated. [...]
Thankfully, Stephanopoulos did a final fact-check before Comer slimed out the door.
STEPHANOPOULOS: [...] I think we only learned of the $2 billion Saudi investment from the Washington Post this morning, at least the details of it.
Unless James Comer's committee is full of Minority Report pre-crime investigators, it is pretty clear that the congressman's full of shit.
The Real Meaning of "Woke"
We end with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on CBS's "Face The Nation" with Margaret Brennan.
When asked about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's ongoing culture war against Disney, Sununu tried to describe his opposition to "woke cancel culture." Brennan asked for a simple explanation of whatever Sununu meant by "woke," and he quickly descended into gobbledygook.
\u201c\u201cI hate this woke cancel culture,\u201d @GovChrisSununu tells @margbrennan, saying it\u2019s a \u201ccultural problem we have to fix in America\u2026but government never solves a cultural problem.\u201d\u201d— Face The Nation (@Face The Nation) 1676220001
SUNUNU: It's the ... it's the divisiveness ... divisiveness [...] Where it is me versus you. Whereas if you are not adhering to my ideals, then I'm going to cancel you out. It is us versus them. It is this binary, where everything's a war. [...]
Oh! Guess by that logic we can start counting Marjorie Taylor Greene, Tucker Carlson, January 6th insurrectionists, and Ron DeSantis as "woke."
However, Sununu successfully demonstrated that "woke" and "cancel culture" are right-wing dog whistles that, like "critical race theory," they can't coherently describe. Despite his efforts at distancing himself from other Republicans, he also proved our theory that "good Republicans" are not a thing. It is the media's attempt at "fetch."
Have a week.
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